Funny, you should ask..."How's the market?" is the single most-frequently asked question a realtor gets or at least it's the most asked question that I get.
I usually respond with that something like "That depends: Are you looking to buy, sell, invest or rent?"
I wanted to share with you some dialogue I recently had.
Client: How is the market now compared with March 2010? What do you forecast for the next spring market (March 2011)?
Me: Believe it or not, the market has cooled. When we first spoke (March 2010), the market was the hottest that any realtor had ever seen, so this was bound to happen. Three factors are to blame for the cooling or slow down in the market: HST, higher interest rates and a very hot summer."
Then I expanded:
HST has scared a lot of potential buyers, basically because they are uninformed of how it works. We as realtors have had to work very hard to explain the implication of the HST.
Higher interest rates were bound to happen. Rates are still good and we have also had to explain this to potential buyers.
Hot Summer - this is a legitimate reason, really. Real Estate normally shows a drop in the summer months as families are busy with summer vacations. This summer has dropped off from the record numbers of the 2009 summer, but is certainly in line with previous summers of 2007 and 2008.
As far as forecasting what the 2011 spring market will bring, I really wish I had that crystal ball. Speaking with other realtors and brokers in the area, we don't anticipate drastic gains in asking prices, but it should remain stable.
Brad Stevenett is a sales representative with Century 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd. in Oakville, Ontario.